Woman of the West

Rodeo Style Guide for the Urban Cowgirl

As I sit in my chair preparing a style guide for rodeo attire, all that that I can think of is the smell of corndogs filling the air, the sound of an announcers voice, the beaming of a hot summer sun, and the sense of excitement that can be felt from head right down to your toes as you enter the gates of any given rodeo grounds.

Walking through the crowd at a rodeo, you are sure to be one of many in a sea of cowboy hats and brown leather boots. However, it is 2022, and it is time to up the style game. I have some great tips and tricks to not only stand out, but also represent yourself accordingly; whether you’re a city slicker going to your first rodeo and have no idea where to start, or a seasoned rancher looking to get out of those worn  out wranglers; I have got you covered.

For the neutral colour pallet cowgirl:

If you want to have a breezy, casual look, but still want to fit within a western theme, begin with a loose-fitting knit cardigan, layered with a plain white t-shirt beneath. This allows you to build and expand any look with turquoise jewelry, and have some fun with a tooled cross-body purse and heeled snip-toe boots. I always say that if you’re having a hard time putting together a cute western outfit, stick to the basics, and utilize layering: this adds dimension, and showcases that you in fact, know what you’re doing, (even if you really have no idea).

For the punchy cowgirl:

We all know a girl who enjoys the spotlight, adores anything rhinestone-studded, fringed, or blanketed in sequins. I happen to have a touch of punchy in my style, as the term refers to a person who has an immediate, and forceful impact. To start out a punchy look, begin with a bright coloured blouse, with unique detailing such as sequins or animal print. Working our way down, contrast with a pair of bell-bottom trousers, and platform alligator or snakeskin booties. Accessorize with squash blossom earrings, and a chunky-beaded necklace. Dressing punchy is sure to turn heads and be memorable.

For the classic cowgirl:

There is nothing wrong to sticking to the basics, but staying up to date on the latest trends is key to accomplishing a distinct look. Start off with a fitted satin button-up collared shirt, and loosely tuck it into your favourite pair of bootcut denim jeans. Pair with ostrich or alligator square-toe boots, a crisp-shaped felt hat, and a pair of silver scroll-engraved earrings.

Rodeos are intended to be a fun source of western entertainment for all walks of life; you don’t have to come from a farm or ranch, or grow up competing in rodeo to dress with a western flare.  

Photos and story by Chelsey Becker